Labeling 'self-worth' or 'low self-esteem' issues has become so commonplace that the words have all but lost their meaning for most of us.
Furthermore, the term 'self-worth' in our modern hustle-&-grind, insta-influencer millennial world has an under-current meaning equated with financial or material success. Even when we intellectually acknowledge this is not true, there is still some part of us that doesn't feel like we are 'enough' or 'doing it right' unless our external world, or bank accounts reflect this worth to us.
As for the term 'self-esteem'; when we say someone has 'low self-esteem', I would challenge you to find someone who is not depressed further by being labeled this way. Who wants to have a low amount of self esteem? No one.
I propose we stop using these terms. I believe they had their benefit when they were crafted into language... but as with so many labels, over time, they get conflated, re-appropriated, infused with heaps of unconscious connotation... and the genuine meaning is lost.
Your issues have NOTHING to do with 'worth'.
I can tell you 'til I'm blue in the face that you are worthy of all your dreams, your hearts desire, that the fact that you exist means you're worthy... but you won't believe it, because it's not about worth. Worth is a concept made by our creative, complex human minds. Worth inherently means that something is valued more or less - that there is a range of worth, that there is a hierarchy. So the very notion of 'self worth issues', in the context of actually understanding this term, means we will ALWAYS be comparing ourself to something, or someone.
That notion, in regards to ANY human life, can fuck off, forever.
Our lives are NOT about worthiness. Our lives' VALUE is NOT in comparison to someone else's.
Simply not true.
And even if it were true, (which many people unconsciously believe), then wouldn't we have a society full of people who feel better-than (entitled, narcissistic, superior..) or less-than (depressed, apathetic, lost), depending on how they compare themselves to others?
Oh wait... we do live in this society.
So, if this isn't inherently true... if our issues aren't self-worth issues... what IS the issue?
In my experience, the 'issue' is actually more accurately labeled as a 'self-existence' issue.
Let me illustrate this perspective...
When we experience life, our existence, and we come across any obstacle, challenge, obstruction... and this experience is in anyway (subtly or grossly) rejected, denied, suppressed... we exile a part of ourself.
When we do this repeatedly, over time, we deny chunks of our existence... parts of ourself that wanted to be expressed, but were not.
These parts, for better or worse, get exiled into our shadow (please refer to the truer, original definition of shadow by Carl Jung).
The more of these parts of ourself we exile, the more hollow and less alive we feel - in extreme cases, or in dire times, we can literally feel like we do not exist.
This exiling of our parts can happen for countless reasons... we could've experienced an assault or repeated assaults that were not integrated properly, thus creating a traumatic-response. We could've been unconsciously modeled that certain emotions (anger, sadness) were not OK to express. Or, certain behaviors were not acceptable (having 'too much' energy).
Regardless of how it happened, this is something every human being experiences - unless they are a truly 'enlightened' or a fully self-integrated person - which is very rare - and even if they are, they surely had to work through some of their own exiled parts before becoming fully enlightened/integrated.
So let's please stop talking about self-worth - I'm not going to tell you you're worth it. Your life has nothing to do with worth or value. Your life is beyond this mental-construct.
Your life has to do with you actually existing.
All of you.
Every part. The ugly, scary, terrified and lonely parts.
And the stunningly awakened, noble, graceful parts.
And the fiery, fierce, grounded, courageous, fortified parts.
And the tender, juicy, delicate, feathery parts.
They all have a purpose, they all want to exist within you, and be expressed when it's their time.. and sit back when it's not.
What parts have you not given air-time to in a while? Your anger? Your sadness? Your grief? Your joy?
What parts have you let run amok in superficial replacement of the exiled parts?
The more you allow these un-integrated parts to be alive and expressed within your being, the more alive you will feel, and the less you'll give two fucks about your 'worthiness' - you will realize, you will FEEL the capacity of your existence in your own being.
And with this feeling, you realize it was never about worth.
It was about being alive.
If you would like more support in integrating to these parts of you, and bringing yourself alive, contact me. I love this work and would be honored to support you.